Comments on various server brands & models


These are the servers we're using on our site at the moment:

Brand
Model
Case
CPU
Storage
Comments
Acer
R300
1RU rackmount
P4 2.4-2.8
2 x 80-200 Gb ATA
Solid reliable machines. Good value for money.

R310
1RU rackmount
P4 2.8
2 x 120-160 Gb SATA
Good price. Very noisy compared with their competitors.
Dell
PE 750
1RU rackmount
P4 2.8
2 x 120-200 Gb SATA
Good price. Better build quality than Acer. Ordering from Dell is a pain. One failed power supply, which was fixed promptly.

PE 850
1RU rackmount
P4 2.8
2 x 160 Gb SATA
Replacement for PE750 that is available with PCI Express (PCIe) rather than PCI-X. Seems quieter than the PE 750.

PE SC1425
1RU rackmount
Xeon 2.8, dual capable
2 x 160 Gb SATA
Noisier than the P4 systems, but that's to be expected, i guess. Excellent value for a dual-capable Xeon system.
HP
NetServer E800
Pedestal
P3 1.0
3 x 72 Gb SCSI, NetRAID card
Have had 2 failed SCSI drives due to heat dissipation issues. Otherwise has been good. Local engineers in Brisbane are very skilled.

ProLiant DL140 G2
1RU rackmount
Xeon 2.8
2 x 160 Gb SATA
More expensive, deeper, and louder than Dell PE SC1425. Finish is a little more "engineer-feel" than Dell or IBM.
IBM
x306
1RU rackmount
P4 3.0
2 x 160 Gb SATA
More expensive than Acer, Dell, and HP. Build quality seems highest overall of the 1RU servers i've used. Fairly small dimensions, considering the spec. Edu pricing is OK - i'm glad i don't have to pay retail for these boxes! My particular unit seems to have a BIOS bug that prevents it from loading OSes from a USB DVD-ROM. :-(

One thing that disappoints me about all of these vendors is that i'm seeing far too many Maxtor hard disks. Maxtor's 80 & 160 Gb SATA drives have been quite unreliable in our systems (we've probably seen 6 replaced in the last 6-9 months), and nearly all of the recent 1RU servers i've bought have included Maxtor drives.

- PaulGear PaulGear